Today, my paternal grandmother left us peacefully. She's 100 years old. While my family grieve in her passing, I believe we should also be comforted by the knowledge that she led a full and a somewhat extraordinary life.
My grandmother was born in Hockchew 徐家村. She was the 7th child, as her name 七妹 suggests. Back in those days, baby boys were greatly favored over girls. She might have lost her life then, the fate of many a unwanted daughter, but my great grandparents pleaded to keep her. Though she never received education, she more than made up for it through her sheer hard work and mental shrewdness. Despite her grand old age, she could still do mental math and knew quite a fair bit of current affairs.
My grandmother came to Singapore with my father more than 60 years ago, to join my grandfather to build a future here together. They travelled for weeks by sea. In Singapore, they worked hard to raise the family and soon the family of 3 became a family of 5 (would have been 6 if not for my father's elder brother who died of an illness at 5 years old).
Fast forward to after I was born. My grandfather passed away suddenly when I was in K1, my grandmother and my mentally challenged aunt moved in to live with my parents and me so that we could care for them. As my grandmother spoke no other language, I had to pick up the Hockchew dialect in order to communicate with her. Thankfully, I did, as that helped me to get to know her deeper and better appreciate the Hockchew culture. In my memories of my grandmother, apart from being an exceptionally clever woman, she was also very generous, strong willed and had a really strong diaphragm (even in her 70s then) because when she raised her voice, the entire HDB block could hear her!
This morning, when the doctor broke the news and officially announced my grandmother's death to me and my father, both of us were in tears, though my father held himself together better.
Tonight, as I was going through old photos, I spotted the photos of my grandmother and my son - her great grandson. I recall my grandmother was genuinely delighted and excited to see him. Not many people get to meet their great grandparents and I am really glad that I had taken these photos. My son has lost the opportunity to interact and get to know his great grandmother. He would never have the chance to call her. But I am glad that she hugged him and he touched her face, and there are photos that I can show him in future.
More importantly, I hope my grandmother leaves this world with happy memories. I believe she will soon be reunited with my grandfather in paradise.
(Photo: One of the nicer ones of the two of them after my grandmother was bedridden)
Had fun reliving my Kopi-making days and "la kopi" with residents this morning! We wanted to get residents together, with something like a block(s) party, but with a twist. To inject some excitement and attract more residents to join in, I took over the 头手 role at the kopitiam of Blk 121 Geylang East. This is a new engagement approach that I'm trying out and if residents enjoy it, we hope to do more. Over the span of slightly over an hour, I made 121 cups of Kopi/Teh/milo etc. So far, residents who tried said I passed! Heng ah! ????????
During the session, I also addressed queries such as when the Home Improvement Programme will be offered. I reiterated that HIP is scheduled for this year and letters will be sent once HDB is ready. We are thankful to HDB for acceding to our request for HIP to residents of Blk 120, 122-128 Geylang East. We also hope residents will eventually vote in favour of HIP, so that everyone can benefit from this programme.
(Photo credit: Grassroots leader Eunice Wang)
Was on my usual walkabout in MacPherson today but I decided to do something different. I decided to bring my little one along so that he knows what his mum does ☺️ and learn about the community. We visited the Geylang East Home for the Aged as one of the stops so that he can say hi to the many elders who gave him blessings before and after he was born. Glad that he's been well behaved so far and remained quiet so that I could listen to residents who approached me with issues along the way. ????
And of course, my selfie moment with the champion! ????????
去年，生了祺皓后，我每每看到他圆嘟嘟的脸蛋，我就特别想念中秋节的月饼。???? 大选后，一直期待和他庆中秋。那时，祺皓和他外婆送的灯笼一样大！现在，祺皓不但比灯笼高还可以吃月饼了！???? 今晚有公事，今年可能没法一起提灯笼赏月，但是，看到宝贝的笑容，我心足矣。在此，祝愿各位月圆人团圆，事事圆圆满满，中秋快乐！????
Since Kee Hau's birth last year, Kee Hau's round face reminds me of mooncake. ???? After GE, I looked forward to celebrating our first Mid Autumn Festival together. Back then, baby Kee Hau was only as big as the lantern my mum gave him. Now, Kee Hau is not only so much taller than the lantern, he also ate (teeny slice) mooncake! ???? I have official duties tonight and may not be able to celebrate with him. But seeing his adorable smile, I feel energized.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Mid Autumn Festival! ????
Dealing with backstabbers and hypocrites, there's one thing I've learned. The bitches are only powerful when your back is turned. -EMINEM”